Staten Island, NY | The College of Staten Island baseball squad left nothing to chance today, defeating John Jay College in their regular season and conference finale, 9-2, to secure a berth into the CUNYAC Championship Series this weekend. Needing either a win today or a CCNY loss at Lehman, CSI got the job done themselves with a huge first inning, then rode the arm of senior Christian Capellan on the mound on a night when CSI would honor their five seniors in all.
The final game of the three-game set, CSI took two from the Bloodhounds yesterday afternoon, and kicked off play today by honoring their five senior leaders. First-year senior pitcher Joseph Decelie was highlighted, along with three-year players Sean Becker and Nicholas Meola, followed by four-year seniors Anthony DiMarco and hurler Christian Capellan, who got the start.
After Capellan was able to retire JJC in the top half of the first after yielding a pair of hits, it was time for CSI to get to work offensively, and they provided Capellan with all the run support he would need against JJC starter Stephen Strategakos. Nick Falcone and Domenick Castiglione started off with walks, as did Andrew Nathan, and with just one out, a run came in when Becker was plunked. That was it for Strategakos, who was lifted for Paul Slawson. Meola then tagged a single through the left side, plating Nathan and Castiglione to make it 3-0. DiMarco was up next and ripped a single up the middle, scoring Becker to make it 4-0. The hit parade continued with Anthony Lozada forcing one through the left side to load the bases again before Meola was brought in via a passed ball to stake CSI to a 5-0 lead at the end of the first frame.
From there, Capellan was sensational. The senior retired JJC in order over the next four innings, and CSI responded with another run in the second inning that was registered on a wild pitch, and then a digit in the sixth off of JJC reliever Jeremy Scheetz. There, Castiglione ripped an RBI-single to score Jett Nouvertne who had earned on earlier via an error.
A couple of CSI errors in the sixth and seventh interrupted the perfect streak of innings for Capellan, but the John Jay scoreless inning streak against CSI hit 21 innings when Capellan was able to retire the Bloodhounds in order again in the eighth. For extra measure, CSI ballooned the lead to 9-0 with a two-run outburst in the eighth. Two JJC errors helped the cause, with Michael Crocco adding a sac fly.
Going for the complete-game shutout, Capellan would hit a major snag in the ninth. Steven Catuogno and Danny Wynne were walked, and with one out, Capellan was lifted for reliever Steven Collica. After a fly out, CSI committed an error that allowed the first run to score, and later, Wynne would score on a wild pitch to make it 9-2. Collica finally settled, forcing Joe Desilvio to ground out to end the inning and the game.
CSI out-hit JJC, 9-3, with Castiglione going 2-4 with an RBI and two runs scored and Nick Meola finishing 1-4 with a pair of RBI. Capellan’s final line was 8.1 innings of work in the win, allowing two unearned runs on three hits, walking two and fanning five. Strategakos took the loss for JJC, but Scheetz provided sound relief, tossing five innings, allowing three runs (one earned) on four hits.
The win for CSI lifted them into a tie for first-place in the CUNYAC standings with Baruch College, but with Baruch having won the season series against the Dolphins, 2-1, Baruch will be the No. 1 seed in the upcoming three-game series this weekend, with CSI claiming the No. 2 seed. The CUNYAC Championship Series will start on Friday with a single game at 3pm, and will continue on Saturday at 12 Noon. All games will be played at the CSI Baseball Complex. The Dolphins are the four-time defending CUNYAC Champions, and after starting the CUNYAC Regular Season 1-4, have now reeled off seven-straight inside of conference play to clinch their way to the weekend series.